Blue Glow

Salon's TV picks for Tuesday, Sept. 21, 1999


Joyce Millman
September 21, 1999 8:00PM (UTC)

Fall Premiere

The animated sitcom Mission Hill (9 p.m., WB) follows the adventures of a group of friends in their 20s living in a city much like New York, but not New York. Created by Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein ("The Simpsons") and featuring the voices of Wallace Langham, Vicki Lewis, Jane Wiedlin and Dave Thomas. Unknown stand-up comic Mike O'Malley gets his own sitcom, The Mike O'Malley Show (9:30 p.m., NBC), which is about a single guy in his 30s. Is that the most original, enticing set-up of the fall TV season or what? Judging Amy (10 p.m., CBS), the drama starring Amy Brenneman as a single mom working as a family court judge, moves into its regular time slot. Fans of "thirtysomething" and "My So-Called Life" will instantly recognize the drama Once & Again (10 p.m., ABC) as the work of Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick. The pilot, about two divorced people in their 40s (Sela Ward, Billy Campbell) who fall in love, unfolds slowly; the annoying gimmick of black and white cut-ins where Ward and Campbell bare their souls directly to the camera keeps stopping the momentum of the story. But the stars (especially Ward) are just right -- hesitant, bruised and trying to be brave. And their awkward attempts at escaping the scrutiny of their kids and finding time to be alone fit in with Herskovitz and Zwick's familiar theme -- growing up is hard to do, even if you're a grown-up.

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Series

Just Shoot Me (8 p.m., NBC) picks up where it left off last season, with Finch married to a supermodel and Maya and Elliot trying to figure out if they were accidentally married in a mass cult wedding. On the season opener of JAG (8 p.m., CBS), Harm is a pilot again, and he's on a dangerous mission: patrolling the no-fly zone over Kosovo. Heather Locklear joins the cast of Spin City (8 p.m., ABC) as a political consultant who hires on with the mayor's reelection campaign. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (8 p.m., WB) finally runs the "Earshot" episode, which was written before the Columbine massacre, but was pulled from the schedule because of its coincidental resemblance to actual events. After developing the ability to hear people's thoughts, Buffy learns that a student is planning a shooting spree at school. On the season opener of 3rd Rock From the Sun (8:30 p.m., NBC), Vicki gives birth to the Big Giant Head's baby. It's like, you know ... (8:30 p.m., ABC) begins a new season with a visit from Jennifer Grey's father, Joel Grey, who is called in when Shrug refuses to believe that she's the real Jennifer Grey. Will & Grace (9 p.m., NBC) kicks off its second season with the roommates deciding to live apart. Greg quits his job at the law firm and embarks on a quest to find the meaning of life on the season premiere of Dharma and Greg (9 p.m., ABC). The concert series Reverb (11:30 p.m., HBO) opens a new season with live sets from Alanis Morissette and Everlast.

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Sports

Baseball:

Mets at Braves (7:35 p.m., TBS)

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Talk

Rosie O'Donnell (syndicated) Michael J. Fox, Goo Goo Dolls

David Letterman (CBS) Robin Williams, Norm Macdonald

Jay Leno (NBC) Rob Lowe, Melissa Joan Hart, Tori Amos

Politically Incorrect (ABC) David Cross, Markie Post

Conan O'Brien (NBC) Artie Lange, Cindy Bullens

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Joyce Millman

Joyce Millman is a writer living in the Bay Area.

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